GP lunch hours are busier than face-to-face consultations
Dr B.P Choudhary, vice chair, Sandwell LMC
I have seen numerous press coverage from the tabloid newspapers and the political media about GP working, for example this Daily Mail article.
The front page of Daily mail says that GP surgeries close during the day for a three hour lunch break. In actual fact, those three to four hours are a busier period than the face-to-face consultations.
There are are a few points I would like to raise in support of this:
- When most GPs and staff finish face-to-face consultations, it is is the same doctors and staff who take the back seat and start dealing with other clinical and management work issues.
- There are urgent cases waiting from the morning surgery where hospital admission needs to be arranged.
- Incoming blood reports have to be scrutinised and action taken. In some cases admission to hospital has to be arranged depending on the report.
- Clinic letters are all checked and action taken if necessary.
- Home visits are carried out when requested.
- Preparation of evening surgery - urgent cases are called in.
- Management issues are discussed between doctors and staff. Some of the training takes place i.e. post graduate training, staff training, CPR training. In our case we carry out our child safeguarding training between the morning and evening surgery.
I must emphasise that due to adverse propaganda causes hostile climate resulting into crisis of resources in manpower and finance in the practice. If the condition remains like this for sometime, I will not be surprised if primary care system will collapse altogether very soon.